By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special To AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – With the curtain on “The Sound of Music” scheduled to rise in just two months, the Glimmerglass Festival has announced it will not host any live performances this summer.
“It was our hope this summer to gather at the Festival,” Francesca Zambello, artistic director, said Tuesday, May 5. “But it became clear that, for all our safety, we cannot gather together to perform
the beautiful season we had planned for you.”
Following Governor Cuomo’s order prohibiting attractions that would draw a large number of visitors, the Glimmerglass Festival Board of Trustees made its decision.
The festival was slated to perform “Don Giovanni,” “Rinaldo,” “Die Feen
(The Fairies)” and “The Jungle Book.”
However, the festival will continue its educational pro-grams, including the 2020 Young Artists program, Summer Internship Program and its local Youth Opera Program.
“Public performances are only the tip of the iceberg,” Zambello said. “Behind the scenes, the company invests an enormous amount of energy in training the young people who make up the future of the art form (through) group workshops and one-on-one mentoring from established professionals.”
The festival is also planning “a robust selection of virtual opportunities.”
The Glimmerglass Festival is late to the table.
Other local cultural institutions, including The Farmers’ Museum, Fenimore Art Museum and Hyde Hall, remain closed at present, but all intend to open as soon as the governor declares it is safe to do so.
“The museum is nothing without people,” said Paul D’Ambrosio, Fenimore and Farmers’ president. “We are preparing for an eventual reopening, with all procedures and guidelines in place.”
Meanwhile, each is offering virtual programs. The Farmers’ focus is on crafts and cooking; The Fenimore on collection highlights and open mic nights, Hyde Hall with a new series on the mansion’s lighting, which was cutting-edge technologically in the 19th century.
“We want to create a virtual museum experience,” said Jon Maney, Hyde Hall executive director.“It’s a good way to keep present in people’s minds, to make them interested for when they can come here.”
Similarly, the festival will take its Town Hall series virtual, starting with a Live Conversation with Zambello and Music Director Joseph Colaneri.
“A huge part of the Festival’s mission is to inspire dialogue around meaningful issues through storytelling and music,” Zambello said. “I am very excited about the prospect of bringing our Town Hall discussions to a potentially wider audience.”
Though Hyde Hall is closed, Maney has invited visitors to tour the grounds and sit on the porch overlooking Otsego Lake.
When tours can resume, he said, they will likely be by reservation only.